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Hybrid Cloud: The New Standard for Delivery of Digital Transformation



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IDC Asia/Pacific has announced its top 10 predictions for cloud services and highlights how adoption of cloud is continuously evolving in the region – becoming the core enabler of the Digital Transformation of Asia Pacific businesses.

“In fact, 2016 will be a big year for solutions built on hybrid cloud architectures with 65% of Asia Pacific enterprises to commit for its implementation”, said Chris Morris, vice president, Cloud and Services, IDC Asia/Pacific.

IDC believes that the big drivers for increased implementation of hybrid clouds are IT’s continuing quest for optimized infrastructure, and the ability of solution builders to source application and infrastructure components from multiple providers to construct a hybrid cloud-based solution.

Furthermore, IDC predicts that by the end of 2018, 40% of IT spend across hardware, software and services will be for cloud oriented technologies, and by 2020, 45%-50% of all spend will be for cloud delivered models.

“With increasing cloud spending, many enterprises will have begun use of hybrid solutions without IT’s direct involvement. With the business unit managers increasingly buying their own cloud solutions, hybrid cloud architectures can proliferate, and sometimes not be aligned with the enterprise architecture”, added Morris.

With key shifts in cloud delivery models, the rest of the predictions for cloud are the following:

#2: Industry Cloud. By 2019, industry cloud creation will be viewed as the top market entry strategy for both technology providers and industrial companies alike, as IT leaders’ industry domain experts join to tear down traditional barriers to entry.

#4: Workload-Centric Management. By 2017, 50% of enterprise IT organizations building hybrid clouds will purchase new or updated workload-centric cloud management solutions.

#5: Public Data & Analytics. By 2018, cloud becomes a preferred delivery mechanism for public data, information, and analytics, increasing public information consumption by 150% and paving the way for thousands of new industry applications.

#6: Diversified IT. By 2020, 60% of companies’ IT assets are off-site in colocation, hosting, and cloud datacenters while ¼ of IT “staff” are employees of third-party service providers.

#7 Open Becomes Mandatory Cloud Evaluation Criteria. By 2017, over 60% of enterprises will embrace open source and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as the underpinning for cloud integration strategies.

#8 DevOps Matures. By 2018, over 60% of new apps will use cloud-enabled continuous delivery and cloud-native application architectures to enable faster innovation and business agility.

#9 Skills and Staffing. By 2017, there will be a 15% shift of IT budget away from traditional in-house IT delivery as organizations use more 3rd party service providers to fill cloud-related skills gaps.

#10 East-West. By 2018, 25% of global enterprises will have service providers from Asia/Pacific as part of their cloud ecosystem.

”As the use of cloud services matures and broadens, the emphasis for enterprise IT has moved from technology management to service management and the optimization of workloads. The impact of digital transformation projects on the service delivery infrastructure necessitates that CIOs re-architect their delivery processes to ensure the IT environment is flexible and agile, yet secure and resilient”, said Mayur Sahni, senior research manager for Cloud and Service, IDC Asia/Pacific.

In closing, IDC predicts that the impact for Asian players on cloud is quite significant with at least 25% of all cloud players within an enterprise environment originating from Asia.

To share more information about IDC’s Cloud FutureScapes document and implications for the Asian market, IDC Asia/Pacific is hosting a free webcast titled ” Hybrid Cloud: Mastering the Raw Material of Digital Transformation” on January 20, 2016; to be led by IDC Vice President, Chris Morris and Mayur Sahni, Senior Research Manager for Cloud and Services

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Facebook Deletes 265 Accounts Targeting Nigeria



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Facebook on Thursday said it had removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, pages, groups and events linked to an Israel-based firm due to what it called “inauthentic behaviour” targeting users in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.


The move is part of wider efforts by Facebook to address concerns over privacy lapses and hate speech in social media.


Facebook said the “inauthentic” activity originated in Israel and focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia as well as in Latin America and Southeast Asia.


“The people behind this network used fake accounts to run pages, disseminate their content and artificially increase engagement,” Nathaniel , head of cyber security policy at Facebook said in a statement.


He identified Israel’s Archimedes Group as the source of some of the activity.


“This organisation and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter,” said Gleicher.


Archimedes was not immediately available for comment


Gleicher said Archimedes had 65 Facebook accounts, 161 pages, 12 events and four Instagram accounts. Some 2.8 million accounts followed one or more of these pages.


He said that the individuals involved also represented themselves as locals, including local news organisations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians.


“The page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents,” Gleicher said.


“We’re taking down these pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted.”


He added that around 812,000 dollars was spent for advertisements on Facebook paid for in Brazilian reals, Israeli shekels and U.S. dollars with the first ad running in 2012 and the most recent last month, Gleicher said.


“We have shared information about our analysis with industry partners and policymakers,” he said.

Similarly, Amnesty International on Thursday called for Israel’s government to ensure that an Israeli company, whose spyware has been linked to a WhatsApp breach that may have targeted human rights groups, be held accountable for the way its software is used.


Amnesty on Tuesday filed a petition in Israel seeking the revocation of NSO Group’s export licence and said that it was up to the government to take a firmer stance against export licenses that have “resulted in human rights abuses.”


Israel’s Ministry of Defence declined to comment.


WhatsApp, a unit of Facebook, said on Tuesday that a security breach on its messaging app may have targeted human rights groups.


According to Eva Galperin, Director of cybersecurity at San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, WhatsApp told human rights groups it believed the spyware used was developed by Israel’s NSO.


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LSETF Partners IBM To Enhance Digital Skills Of Lagos Youths



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The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) through its technology-driven programme, ‘Lagos Innovates’, has in partnership with IBM, and leading wireless infrastructure provider, ATC Nigeria, officially unveiled digital centers in Lagos State to access IBM’s Digital – Nation Africa (D-NA) initiative.

The move aims at actualising the agency’s mandate to build and up-skill the capacity of young people in Lagos State to be globally competitive in digital competences.

As part of the partnership agreement, the LSETF will in connection with local experts and partners build digital capacity for youths in Lagos State through the implementation of the IBM’s Digital – Nation Africa initiative.

This initiative will help the youth of Lagos not only gain the key knowledge required for today’s digital world, but also be encouraged to open their minds to innovation and experience designing their first digital solution. This will help ensure that industries and businesses have access to a digitally skilled labour force, and the programme is available to all.

To implement the DN-A programme in Lagos State, LSETF will use ATC Nigeria’s ’Digital Centers’ to ensure more young people can effectively access the programme.

Digital Centers are computer-equipped centers that use the uninterrupted power supply and broadband link from ATC Nigeria’s communication tower sites to provide local communities with free education and training in ICT to increase computer literacy and help create digitally empowered societies.

LSETF has started to run the DN-A programme through Digital Centers at (1) No. 44 Oredapo Street, off Capital Road, Agege, Lagos State (2) Along Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lakowe, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos State, and (3) No. 2, Makoko Road, Adekunle, Yaba, Lagos State.

In light of this level of preparedness, youths within the age group of 18 to 35 years who are interested in learning new digital skills can now visit the Digital Villages to take the free intensive IBM training for a period of 3 to 16 weeks.

Commenting, the Acting Executive Secretary of the LSETF, Mrs. Teju Abisoye: “We are very pleased to have globally renowned tech corporations working with us to build the capacity of our youths to be digitally competent for today’s fast-evolving, tech-driven solutions.  I am particularly pleased with the prospect of building our young workforce for the future of work needed for tomorrow and provided by IBM.

It is very important to note that beneficiaries of this initiative will on completion of the programme be eligible for an open badge issued by IBM. This badge is a cross-industry digital recognition of technical skills which can be shared with their social and professional network.

“We at the LSETF are very keen to have this programme executed successfully and to see more young people embrace this rare opportunity to be globally competent in tech and join forces with local innovators to consolidate the place of Lagos State in Africa’s emerging tech market”, Mrs. Abisoye added.


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Microsoft Plans $100M Investment on Development Hub in Nigeria, Kenya



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Microsoft has launched its first Africa Development Centre (ADC), with two initial sites in Nairobi and Lagos, as it bids to create a premier centre of engineering, recruiting world-class African talent to create innovative solutions for local and global impact.

The ADC, which will cost US$100-million across its first five years of operation, will initially be housed within existing Microsoft offices in both Nairobi and Lagos, but will expand to new purpose-built facilities soon.

It is Microsoft’s seventh such centre globally, and will see the company recruit 100 full-time engineers across the two ADC sites, with plans to increase the headcount to more than 500 engineers by the end of 2023.

These engineers will develop innovative solutions that span the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

The ADC is the latest in Microsoft’s ongoing investments in Africa, enabling digital transformation, bridging gaps in infrastructure, connectivity and capability while creating sustained societal impact on the continent.

The increased presence on the continent will boost partners and customers as they use Microsoft solutions in fields such as FinTech, agri-tech and off-grid energy.

“The ADC will be unlike any other existing investment on the continent. It will help us better listen to our customers, develop locally and scale for global impact,” said Phil Spencer, executive sponsor of the ADC and executive vice president at Microsoft. “Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to engage further with African partners, academia, governments and developers – driving impact and innovation in sectors important to Africa.”

To support the development of the required skills, Microsoft is also partnering with local universities to create a modern intelligent edge and cloud curriculum, unique to Africa.

Graduates from top engineering universities will have access to the ADC to build relevant and meaningful careers in data science, AI, mixed reality, application development and more.

Michael Fortin, corporate vice president at Microsoft and the lead in establishing the first ADC engineering team in Nairobi said, “Our desire is to recruit exceptional engineering talent and provide the opportunity to work on the latest technologies suitable for Kenya, Nigeria and the rest of the world. In doing so, engineers are able to enjoy meaningful work from their home countries, while plugged into a global engineering and development organisation.”

Microsoft recently opened its first hyper-scale datacentres in South Africa, and chose Kenya and Nigeria for the ADC as it believes they are leading regional digital innovation hubs where the ADC intends to invest and accelerate work already being done.

“The reason we selected these countries as the first ADC sites is to better understand a continent that is rapidly adopting cloud technology and innovation at the intelligent edge,” said Amrote Abdella, regional director of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative.

“Microsoft is already empowering many Kenyan and Nigerian innovations at the edge, with partners like Interswitch, energy start-up M-KOPA, and agri-tech start-up N-Frnds, and Virtual City, a key partner across all areas.

The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture in Kenya and Energyrathon Consulting in Nigeria are also two recent AI for Earth grant recipients, that are using AI to prevent nutrition crises and protect marine ecosystems. We’re excited to drive more innovations like this from the ADC.”

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